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Polls show strong support for minimum wage hike

President Obama sends his fiscal 2015 budget to Congress today filled with proposals aimed at contrasting Democratic economic approaches with those of Republicans. While many of those proposals may fall by the wayside in the GOP-controlled House during this midterm election year, one issue on which Obama can count on strong public support is his call for raising the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10.

Half of all adults say they would be more likely to vote for a congressional candidate who supports increasing the minimum wage, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted Feb. 27-Mar.2. About three-in-ten (28%) said a candidate’s stance on the issue wouldn’t make much difference and 19% said they would be less likely to vote for a lawmaker who backed the wage hike.

Democrats would be more likely than Republicans to vote for a wage hike backer by a 72% to 26% margin. Independents fall about in the middle with 50% saying they’d be more likely to support a candidate who backs the hike, compared with 30% who said it wouldn’t make much difference and 19% who would be less likely to vote for such a candidate.

A Pew Research Center survey conducted last month found strong support for increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, with 73% of those surveyed in favor.

When Obama joins a group of Northeastern governors on Wednesday in Connecticut to push for the wage hike, he will be going to a state where voters support an increase in a state-set minimum wage by a 71% to 25% margin, although only 42% would take it to $10.10, according to a new Quinnipiac University survey.

Surveys in three other states conducted among registered voters by a group of other polling institutions found about two-thirds or more backed the increase in Virginia (65%), New Jersey (69%) and New York (77%). (The polls were conducted by the Roanoke Institute for Policy and Opinion Research, Rutgers-Eagleton and the Siena Research Institute).